Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Story of Power - The Global Elite/Excellent "50"

The study of power is not only diverting (which Homer and Shakespeare knew), but illuminating. A biography of an ancient human impulse.

Barack Obama has a good Al Gore story. Sometime after the 2000 election, Obama called on a corporate executive in a big office with a terrific view of midtown Manhattan. The businessman had been an ardent Gore supporter, and the former vice president had recently asked him to consider investing in a startup television venture. "It was strange," the executive told Obama. "Here he was, a former vice president, a man who had just a few months earlier been on the verge of being the most powerful man on the planet. During the campaign, I would take his calls any time of day, would rearrange my schedule whenever he wanted to meet. But suddenly, after the election, when he walked in, I couldn't help feeling that the meeting was a chore. I hate to admit it, because I really like the guy. But at some level he wasn't Al Gore, former vice president. He was just one of the hundred guys a day who are coming to me looking for money. It made me realize what a big steep cliff you guys are on." Obama, recounting the anecdote in "The Audacity of Hope," notes: "A big steep cliff, the precipitous fall." And, in Gore's case, the climb back up the cliff, to a Nobel Peace Prize and global eminence. Obama, who is now arguably the most powerful man in the world, understands that power is a fluid thing, and has been since the first caveman threw a rock at another caveman.
In the popular imagination, power tends to be viewed in one of two ways, both extreme. The first is totemic and tactical (how to get ahead at the office, to win friends and influence people). The other is epic and amorphous (the fate of markets, of vast global events and forces that seem beyond anyone's control, but especially yours).
Power is both these things, and more. At heart, it is best understood in terms of command and control. It is either the capacity to make others do as you wish (the command function) or to reorder the environment around you (the control function).
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To study it intimately and specifically—how people get power, and how they wield it—is not only diverting (though, as Homer and Shakespeare knew, it is surely that). It is also illuminating, for understanding its accumulation and deployment enables us to learn, possibly, how to change the world around us, and the world at large.
Forgive that last bit of Dawn-of-the-Age-of-Obama hyperbole, but there is real hope behind the hype of the season. The discussion of power makes many left-of-center Americans somewhat uncomfortable, for it can be offensive to democratic sensibilities. Many right-of-center Americans, too, find the conversation unsettling, for it inevitably leads to thoughts of a governing elite, which conservatives in recent decades have chosen to vilify for rhetorical purposes. From Plato forward, philosophers have struggled to define power and, in the act of definition, to delineate it from the other impulses that shape what we do.
The beginning of 2009, the last year of the first decade of the 21st century, is a good time to consider the nature of power, and of the powerful, because the world is being reordered in so many ways—broadly by what my colleague Fareed Zakaria calls "the rise of the rest," the emergence of powers such as India, China and Brazil, and specifically by the global recession. The cultural, political and economic consequences of the financial meltdown cannot be overestimated. Unthinking trust in unfettered markets has evaporated, and the concern appears to be more than a temporary fit of worry that will pass when things start to get better. The demise of titans on Wall Street has elevated bureaucrats and politicians in Washington and Beijing and Brussels. And there is one politician in particular whose exercise of power will affect all of us for years to come: the president-elect, whose victory in November and transition—accompanied by the virtual disappearance of President Bush—have marked a resurgence of confidence in America. A senior European diplomat recently marveled to me about the American capacity to change course with rapidity and apparent ease: the shift from Bush to Obama —from the scion of one of America's noblest families to the child of a brief marriage between a young Kansan and a Kenyan academic, who proceeded to see his son exactly once—was simply astonishing.
In the following pages, you will find NEWSWEEK's highly subjective list of the most powerful people who will figure in the era over which Obama will preside. It is arbitrary, but the choices are well considered, and each, we believe, represents a thread in the new global tapestry. Some are utterly surprising; others are not. Perhaps most important, each meets the test of power as we have just defined it: they are men and women who are either in the business of bending others to their will or seeking to rearrange reality in ways they find more congenial. They are in command, or they seek control. There is, naturally, more than a little overlap; the features are not mutually exclusive. (The reprehensible are also here—Osama bin Laden is one example—as an acknowledgment that evil can affect us, too.)
We are not undertaking this to create simply an American list, or to delineate an elite based on wealth, social class or educational credentials. The figures in this issue are global, and they are chosen on merit. Many of the names here, it is true, are well-off, move in what might be considered high circles and went to celebrated schools. But many began life in obscurity (see, for instance, the 44th president of the United States) and have risen to prominence through a combination of determination and good fortune. Part of the promise of this country in particular is that those who work hard will have the opportunity to thrive; it is, along with the proposition that all men are created equal, the promise at the heart of the national enterprise.
In Latin the word for power is imperium, which is largely evocative of the state, and we tend to think of power in political terms—that is, in terms of our relation to one another in the public sphere (power dynamics within families are usually confined to the private sphere, except when those families play political roles—see the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons). Very roughly, political power in America has moved from being the monopoly of the landed elite from the 18th-century Revolutionary era through the 19th-century Age of Jackson, when the suffrage was broadened to white men beyond the traditional gentry. In the 20th century, women and, at long last, African-Americans were included in the mainstream. Now, in the 21st century, the world is turning over yet again. The political energy in the country is being harnessed by a younger and more diverse group than it has been in ages past. This does not mean the millennium is at hand, but it does mean that the face of power is changing.
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The worship of power for power's sake is debilitating and disorienting. The central creation myth of the West turns on just that insight. In the Book of Genesis, the serpent is able to seduce Eve and Adam into disobeying the Lord by promising that the fruit of the forbidden tree would turn them into gods—would, in other words, make them more powerful than they were in their innocence.
It is more fashionable to speak of such grasping not as sin but as the will to power, Friedrich Nietzsche's 19th-century formulation. "My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (its will to power) and to thrust back all that resists its extension," wrote Nietzsche, who elevated power, rather than good, to ultimate concern. "But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ('union') with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on." The moral reply is that some things are more important than power—love and freedom among them. That the security of such virtues often requires the use of force is an inescapable element of reality, but there is a distinction between the pursuit of power for domination and subjugation and the use of power to make possible the journey toward what Winston Churchill called the "broad, sunlit uplands."
Still, the bleak Germanic view has suffused elements of modern life. Resentment of those in charge of the industrialized state in an age of mass media is on vivid display in the work of C. Wright Mills, who published "The Power Elite" in 1956. Mills's vision was one of not-so-quiet desperation: "The powers of ordinary men are circumscribed by the everyday worlds in which they live, yet even in these rounds of job, family, and neighborhood they often seem driven by forces they can neither understand nor govern … But not all men are in this sense ordinary. As the means of information and power are centralized, some men come to occupy positions in American society from which they can look down upon, so to speak, and by their decisions mightily affect, the everyday worlds of ordinary men and women." Sarah Palin would probably agree with Mills, at least on the looking-down part.
But power in America and elsewhere is undergoing directional changes that complicate Mills's argument. Yes, there are still cultural arbiters, and yes, presidents and lawmakers and executives obviously exert enormous influence. It is arguable, though, that technology has given us a more democratic culture (if not politics) than the world has seen since perhaps the founding of Athenian democracy. In ways that we are still only beginning to understand, the Internet is changing how power is accumulated and exercised.
This is a subject that Al Gore—who knows a lot about the vicissitudes of fortune—understands well. In Gore's thinking, we are now in the midst of a great turning point in the history of power, a moment akin to the introduction of the printing press in Europe in the mid-15th century. The proliferation of printed information helped fuel the rise of democracy until, in Gore's view, television replaced print as the central political medium. Now the Internet has, like Gutenberg, lowered barriers to information and has given virtually anyone with something to say the means to say it. The Web is not only a source but a stage on which we can engage in the life of the nation and of the world armed with facts we have weighed in the light of reason. "Knowledge is now once again connected to power," says Gore—and that is a kind of power which means all of us belong on a list like this.
The other new factor in the global power game of 2009 is Obama himself. Well read, technologically savvy, politically astute, he comes to the White House in grim times but with high expectations. Whether he succeeds or fails, it will be a close-run thing. "It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things," said Machiavelli. If Immanuel Kant is to be believed, even Obama's cool intellectualism is risky: "It is not to be expected that kings philosophize or that philosophers become kings, nor is it to be desired, because possession of power corrupts the free judgment of reason inevitably." So much for Plato.
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Characteristically, Obama would reject the Kantian formulation as a false choice—one can be a king who rules with the benefit of philosophy. And what, exactly, is Obama's philosophy of power? He is a man with a tragic vision of the world: he knows that while progress is possible, perfection is not, and he comes to the office, it seems, with an appreciation of the limits of politics and the fleeting nature of power. As his story about Gore's old supporter suggests, Obama is a student of such things.
The account of the conversation about Gore's fall from power included Obama's own musings about how Gore may have felt now that his coming by, once an honor, seemed a "chore." "Sitting there … trying to make the best of a bad situation, he might have thought how ridiculous were the circumstances in which he found himself; how after a lifetime of work he could have lost it all because of a butterfly ballot that didn't align, while his friend the executive, sitting across from him with a condescending smile, could afford to come in second in his business year after year and yet still be considered successful, still enjoy the exercise of power," Obama wrote. "It wasn't fair, but that wouldn't change the facts for the former vice president." It is a fact, too, that one day Obama's power will fade, as will that wielded by the others on our list. What they do with it in the meantime will determine how their own story is told.

Duke Energy Corp. is not the world's greenest utility, and CEO Jim Rogers is no green saint. The company was sued by Environmental Defense, the research and advocacy group, when it balked at installing modern air-pollution controls on old coal-fired power plants that it was renovating; the Supreme Court handed it a 9-0 loss in 2007. Duke is the country's third-largest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and is building two new power plants that will burn coal, the worst CO2 fuel. But if Barack Obama wants to spend $15 billion a year over the next decade to develop and deploy renewable energy, and to get the country on track to cut greenhouse emissions 80 percent by 2050, Rogers, with his sooty record—but belief in renewable energy and the need to cut CO2—is just the kind of powerful ally he'll need.
The support of environmentalists and of green-tech companies for Obama's plan is a given. The support of industry is not. Dead-enders still deny that global warming is occurring, much less that it is caused by greenhouse gases. Much of the business community thinks mandatory CO2 reductions would be economically ruinous: in November, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned of a "devastating impact … on businesses, farmers, the fragile economy and job creation." For eight years, opposition like that (combined with White House intransigence on climate change) crippled efforts to expand renewable energy and cut greenhouse emissions. But if Rogers and other industrial titans—Alcoa, Caterpillar, General Electric, BP America, Dow Chemical, Du Pont and Shell are among those that support mandatory CO2 cuts—can flip some of their peers and provide political cover to pro-business congressmen, the next four might be different.
Rogers has aligned at least some of Duke's investments with his rhetoric. He has called for mandatory greenhouse-gas reductions from power plants and other sources, advocates a cap-and-trade system (polluters get allowances to emit CO2; if they emit less, they can sell or trade them to worse emitters) and supports a surcharge on electricity to fund R&D on low-carbon technologies. Duke is spending $50 million to install 10 megawatts of solar panels on customers' rooftops. It bought a wind-power company in June for $320 million, raising its wind capacity to 500 megawatts; it has another 5 gigawatts of wind projects in development. And Duke has begun building the nation's largest solar photo-voltaic farm—16 megawatts in North Carolina, enough for 2,600 homes.
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To jump-start renewable energy and green technology will take at least three big steps. First, wind and solar require huge upfront capital outlays, which makes them extremely sensitive to the cost of borrowing. "In the last two months we've seen capital get very tight, though there's interest in wind and solar projects among private-equity firms that have money to invest," says attorney Edward Zaelke of the Chadbourne & Parke law firm, where he handles energy deals. What would get investments flowing? Government loan guarantees for construction of wind or solar farms, to reduce the cost of capital; extending tax credits for solar and wind projects and making the credits transferable so a company that has no tax liability could sell them to one that does; perhaps even direct government loans. Though that's hardly unprecedented nowadays (AIG bailout, anyone?), Congress is losing patience with the unending federal involvement in markets. It will take the business community to argue that achieving energy security and staving off climate catastrophe is worth even more than insuring a steady supply of Pontiacs.
The second way to boost investment in renewables is for the government to send a clear signal to business: emitting CO2 will cost you. "If industry knows cap-and-trade is certain by 2011, and that they have to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050, that will be the most powerful signal you can get," says Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp.
Finally, making green energy a reality will require increasing demand for it, since the more of something buyers want, the greater the economies of scale producers can achieve. There is no more powerful buyer than the U.S. government. Federal facilities—8,600 buildings and 213,000 vehicles—are already required by law to cut their energy use 30 percent by 2015, so "going green is something we live and breathe," says Jim Williams, acting head of the General Services Administration, which buys and runs those facilities. The GSA has converted a federal building in upstate New York to all wind power and installed 110,000 square feet of solar panels on a building near Washington that houses mission control for scientific satellites. If the new administration requires even more green purchases, the cost of solar could drop by half, says Rhone Resch of the Solar Energy Industries Association, with no big technological breakthroughs. But Congress will need to hear from CEOs like Rogers who can see past next quarter's bottom line.
No. 49: E. A. Adeboye

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obama ups jobs Goal to 3 Milliom on bad Economic News

Obama ups jobs goal to 3 million on bad economic news
Story Highlights
NEW: Inaction could cost U.S. 4 million jobs, raise unemployment rate, aide says
President-elect challenged economic team to "think bolder," one official says
Stimulus plan would shun pork, include health care, education, energy proposals
Democratic leaders hope plan is ready on or very soon after Inauguration Day

From Ed HenryCNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama has decided to increase his goal for creating new jobs after receiving economic forecasts that suggest the economy is in worse shape than had been predicted, two Democratic officials told CNN.

Officials say President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus plan will include "oversight and transparency measures."

The officials said Obama is increasing his goal from 2.5 million to 3 million jobs over the next two years after receiving projections early this week that suggest the recession will be deeper than expected.
The projections showed that unless significant action is taken, the nation is likely to lose up to 4 million jobs over the next year and that the unemployment rate will probably rise above 9 percent, a transition aide told CNN.
After hearing the projections, Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden "argued that we were being too timid and that we needed to develop a plan that would save or create at least 3 million jobs," the aide said.
One of the officials said Obama challenged his economic team to "think bolder" as some economists warn there is danger in the government doing too little to curb the recession.
They said the stimulus plan in the works in the Obama camp would have "oversight and transparency measures" to ensure spending on the plan would be focused on stimulating the economy and not devolve into just handing out congressional pork projects.
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Dems, Obama aides continue talks on stimulus
They said it also would include measures that will "lay a foundation for a stronger economy in the future" -- such as health care, education and energy spending. Watch what Obama has to say about the economy »
Other measures included weatherizing 1 million homes, saving the federal government $1 billion in energy costs, modernizing schools and doubling renewable energy production, among other initiatives, the transition aide said.
Obama also stressed to the team that it can't rely on "traditional Washington programs and politics" when drawing up the economic recovery package, the aide said. That means no earmarks, a use-it-or-lose-it policy for local funding, full transparency and "investing in what works," the aide added.
On Friday, Obama had repeated his original goal while announcing appointments to his Cabinet and economic team.
"Together with the appointees that I have announced, these leaders will help craft a 21st-century economic plan with the goal of creating 2.5 million jobs and strengthening our economy," he said.
The Obama team isn't putting a price tag on its economic stimulus plan, which Democratic leaders want to have ready for the president-elect to sign either on or very soon after Inauguration Day. The transition aide told CNN that Obama aides met with Capitol Hill staff this week to discuss plans costing between $675 billion and $775

AIDS Linked to Women's Rights Abuses

Activists: AIDS Linked to Women's Rights Abuses
By Leta Hong Fincher Washington, D.C.23 December 2005
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Human rights groups say there is a deadly link between women's rights abuses and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other health problems. From the systematic rape of women in Darfur, Sudan to the trafficking of women around the world, violations of women's rights are fueling a global health crisis.
For more than two years, the women of Darfur in western Sudan have been raped and murdered in attacks by government-supported militias known as "Janjaweed", despite international condemnation of what the United States calls genocide.
Sarah Martin is an advocate with the group Refugees International, in Washington D.C., who has just returned from Darfur.
Sarah Martin, Refugees International"We've heard cases where women have gone in to report a rape and have been harassed, have been arrested for adultery. And on top of that, it's even more difficult because in order to get medical treatment for a rape, a woman has to fill out a police report and the police are turning them away from the clinics," she said.
Ms. Martin says the plight of rape victims is especially dire in Darfur because roughly nine out of ten Sudanese women undergo an extreme form of female circumcision.
"All of their external genitalia have been removed and they are sewn up. So this means the consequences of the rape are incredibly traumatic to the women's bodies. This is particularly why it's so vital that they receive medical care after the rape, because often they're bleeding, they're injured, and without treatment, they can get infected and die."
Ms. Martin says, even if women survive the rape, they may still contract the HIV virus. She says there are no accurate statistics on AIDS transmission in Sudan, but men refuse to get tested for the virus, and women are afraid to admit they have been raped.
It's a common pattern. Worldwide, the growth of HIV/AIDS infection has alarmed international health agencies, which say almost half of all adults infected with HIV are now women. In hard-hit sub-Saharan Africa, 57 percent of those with the virus are women.
Janet Walsh, Human Rights WatchJanet Walsh, of Human Rights Watch in New York, says the rising number of women infected with HIV is directly related to systemic abuses of women's rights.
"There's something going on here and it has to do with gender. And what we think it is, is a whole series of violations of women's rights that contribute to their vulnerability to being infected with HIV and that also interfere with their access to information and treatment," says Ms. Walsh.
"Women are biologically more vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV than men are," says
Jennifer Kates, Kaiser Family FoundationJennifer Kates, the head of HIV policy at the health research group, Kaiser Family Foundation, in Washington D.C.
"In addition to that biological vulnerability, women face a range of other challenges,” she continued, “discrimination, stigma, lack of access to information and education, lack of access to rights and property rights and ownership rights. All of those things combine to make women more vulnerable, and particularly young women."
Young women in developing countries are also more vulnerable to human trafficking syndicates who exploit the women's desire to seek better economic opportunities. The U.S. State Department says of the estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year, some 80 percent are women and girls. And women trafficked for prostitution have a high rate of HIV infection.
Since the 1990s, rising unemployment in Eastern Europe and greater freedom of movement has fueled a boom in human trafficking.
In Russia, labor groups estimate one fifth of the five million illegal immigrants are victims of forced labor.
Widespread sex tourism in Thailand has made the country a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Wenchi Yu Perkins, Vital VoicesWenchi Yu Perkins runs the anti-trafficking program at Vital Voices, a women's rights group in Washington D.C. She says most trafficking victims believe they will find a legitimate job in another country, but end up trapped in slave-like conditions.
"Most of them choose to go overseas,” says Ms. Perkins. “However, they do not realize that once they arrive in the destination countries, their passports are taken away, they're forced into prostitution or all kinds of other types of work."
Health experts and women's rights activists say governments must do more. They are calling for more AIDS prevention and treatment programs specifically aimed at women. And they warn that over the long term, the global AIDS crisis will worsen unless governments eliminate women's rights abuses that persist around the world.

African Charter on Rights of Women in Africa

PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS ON THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN AFRICA

The States Parties to this Protocol,

CONSIDERING that Article 66 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights provides for special protocols or agreements, if necessary, to supplement the provisions of the African Charter, and that the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity meeting in its Thirty-first Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 1995, endorsed by resolution AHG/Res.240 (XXXI) the recommendation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to elaborate a Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa;
CONSIDERING that Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights enshrines the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status;
FURTHER CONSIDERING that Article 18 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights calls on all States Parties to eliminate every discrimination against women and to ensure the protection of the rights of women as stipulated in international declarations and conventions;
NOTING that Articles 60 and 61 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights recognise regional and international human rights instruments and African practices consistent with international norms on human and peoples' rights as being important reference points for the application and interpretation of the African Charter;
RECALLING that women's rights have been recognised and guaranteed in all international human rights instruments, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and its Optional Protocol, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and all other international and regional conventions and covenants relating to the rights of women as being inalienable, interdependent and indivisible human rights;
NOTING that women's rights and women's essential role in development, have been reaffirmed in the United Nations Plans of Action on the Environment and Development in 1992, on Human Rights in 1993, on Population and Development in 1994 and on Social Development in 1995;
RECALLINGALSO United Nations Security Council’s Resolution1325 (2000) on the role of Women in promoting peace and security;
REAFFIRMING the principle of promoting gender equality as enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union as well as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, relevant Declarations, Resolutions and Decisions, which underline the commitment of the African States to ensure the full participation of African women as equal partners in Africa’s development;
FURTHER NOTING that the African Platform for Action and the Dakar Declaration of 1994 and the Beijing Platform for Action of 1995 call on all Member States of the United Nations, which have made a solemn commitment to implement them, to take concrete steps to give greater attention to the human rights of women in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination and of gender-based violence against women;
RECOGNISING the crucial role of women in the preservation of African values based on the principles of equality, peace, freedom, dignity, justice, solidarity and democracy;
BEARING IN MIND related Resolutions, Declarations, Recommendations, Decisions, Conventions and other Regional and Sub-Regional Instruments aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination and at promoting equality between women and men;
CONCERNED that despite the ratification of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other international human rights instruments by the majority of States Parties, and their solemn commitment to eliminate all forms of discrimination and harmful practices against women, women in Africa still continue to be victims of discrimination and harmful practices;
FIRMLY CONVINCED that any practice that hinders or endangers the normal growth and affects the physical and psychological development of women and girls should be condemned and eliminated;
DETERMINED to ensure that the rights of women are promoted, realised and protected in order to enable them to enjoy fully all their human rights;
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
Article 1
Definitions

For the purpose of the present Protocol:
a) "African Charter" means the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights;
b) "African Commission" means the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights;
"Assembly" means the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union;
“AU” means the African Union;
‘‘Constitutive Act’’ means the Constitutive Act of the African Union;
"Discrimination against women" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life;
"Harmful Practices" means all behaviour, attitudes and/or practices which negatively affect the fundamental rights of women and girls, such as their right to life, health, dignity, education and physical integrity;
‘‘NEPAD’’ means the New Partnership for Africa’s Development established by the Assembly;
"States Parties" means the States Parties to this Protocol;
"Violence against women" means all acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during situations of armed conflicts or of war;
“Women” means persons of female gender, including girls;
Article 2
Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

1. States Parties shall combat all forms of discrimination against women through appropriate legislative, institutional and other measures. In this regard they shall:
a) include in their national constitutions and other legislative instruments, if not already done, the principle of equality between women and men and ensure its effective application;
b) enact and effectively implement appropriate legislative or regulatory measures, including those prohibiting and curbing all forms of discrimination particularly those harmful practices which endanger the health and general well-being of women;
c) integrate a gender perspective in their policy decisions, legislation, development plans, programmes and activities and in all other spheres of life;
d) take corrective and positive action in those areas where discrimination against women in law and in fact continues to exist;
e) support the local, national, regional and continental initiatives directed at eradicating all forms of discrimination against women.
2. States Parties shall commit themselves to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of women and men through public education, information, education and communication strategies, with a view to achieving the elimination of harmful cultural and traditional practices and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes, or on stereotyped roles for women and men.
Article 3
Right to Dignity
Every woman shall have the right to dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition and protection of her human and legal rights;
Every woman shall have the right to respect as a person and to the free development of her personality;
States Parties shall adopt and implement appropriate measures to prohibit any exploitation or degradation of women;
States Parties shall adopt and implement appropriatemeasures to ensure the protection of every woman’s right to respect for her dignity and protection of women from all forms of violence, particularly sexual and verbal violence.
Article 4
The Rights to Life, Integrity and Security of the Person

1. Every woman shall be entitled to respect for her life and the integrity and security of her person. All forms of exploitation, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.
2. States Parties shall take appropriate and effective measures to:
a) enact and enforce laws to prohibit all forms of violence against women including unwanted or forced sex whether the violence takes place in private or public;
b) adopt such other legislative, administrative, social and economic measures as may be necessary to ensure the prevention, punishment and eradication of all forms of violence against women;
c) identify the causes and consequences of violence against women and take appropriate measures to prevent and eliminate such violence;
d) actively promote peace education through curricula and social communication in order to eradicate elements in traditional and cultural beliefs, practices and stereotypes which legitimise and exacerbate the persistence and tolerance of violence against women;
e) punish the perpetrators of violence against women and implement programmes for the rehabilitation of women victims;
f) establish mechanisms and accessible services for effective information, rehabilitation and reparation for victims of violence against women;
g) prevent and condemn trafficking in women, prosecute the perpetrators of such trafficking and protect those women most at risk;
prohibit all medical or scientific experiments on women without their informed consent;
provide adequate budgetary and other resources for the implementation and monitoring of actions aimed at preventing and eradicating violence against women;
ensure that, in those countries where the death penalty still exists, not to carry out death sentences on pregnant or nursing women.
e nsure that women and men enjoy equal rights in terms of access to refugee status, determination procedures and that women refugees are accorded the full protection and benefits guaranteed under international refugee law, including their own identity and other documents;
Article 5
Elimination of Harmful Practices
States Parties shall prohibit and condemn all forms of harmful practices which negatively affect the human rights of women and which are contrary to recognised international standards. States Parties shall take all necessary legislative and other measures to eliminate such practices, including:
creation of public awareness in all sectors of society regarding harmful practices through information, formal and informal education and outreach programmes;
prohibition, through legislative measures backed by sanctions, of all forms of female genital mutilation, scarification, medicalisation and para-medicalisation of female genital mutilation and all other practices in order to eradicate them;
provision of necessary support to victims of harmful practices through basic services such as health services, legal and judicialsupport, emotional and psychological counselling as well as vocational training to make them self-supporting;
protection of women who are at risk of being subjected to harmful practices or all other forms of violence, abuse and intolerance.
Article 6
Marriage
States Parties shall ensure that women and men enjoy equal rights and are regarded as equal partners in marriage. They shall enact appropriate national legislative measures to guarantee that:
no marriage shall take place without the free and full consent of both parties;
the minimum age of marriage for women shall be 18 years;
monogamy is encouraged as the preferred form of marriage and that the rights of women in marriage and family, including in polygamous marital relationships are promoted and protected;
every marriage shall be recorded in writing and registered in accordance with national laws, in order to be legally recognised;
the husband and wife shall, by mutual agreement, choose their matrimonial regime and place of residence;
a married woman shall have the right to retain her maiden name, to use it as she pleases, jointly or separately with her husband's surname;
a woman shall have the right to retain her nationality or to acquire the nationality of her husband;
a woman and a man shall have equal rights, with respect to the nationality of their children except where this is contrary to a provision in national legislation or is contrary to national security interests;
a woman and a man shall jointly contribute to safeguarding the interests of the family, protecting and educating their children;
during her marriage, a woman shall have the right to acquire her own property and to administer and manage it freely.
Article 7
Separation, Divorce and Annulment of Marriage
States Parties shall enact appropriate legislation to ensure that women and men enjoy the same rights in case of separation, divorce or annulment of marriage. In this regard, they shall ensure that:
separation, divorce or annulment of a marriage shall be effected by judicial order;
women and men shall have the same rights to seek separation, divorce or annulment of a marriage;
in case of separation, divorce or annulment of marriage, women and men shall have reciprocalrights and responsibilities towards their children. In any case, the interests of the children shall be given paramount importance;
in case of separation, divorce or annulment of marriage, women and menshall have the right to an equitable sharing of the joint property deriving from the marriage.
Article 8
Access to Justice and Equal Protection before the Law

Women and menare equal before the law and shall have the right to equal protection andbenefit of the law. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure:
effective access by women to judicial and legal services, including legal aid;
support to local, national, regional and continental initiatives directed at providing women access to legal services, including legal aid;
the establishment of adequate educational and other appropriate structures with particular attention to women and to sensitise everyone to the rights of women;
that law enforcement organs at all levels are equipped to effectively interpret and enforce gender equality rights;
that women are represented equally in the judiciary and law enforcement organs;
reform of existing discriminatory laws and practices in order to promote and protect the rights of women.
Article 9
Right to Participation in the Political
and Decision-Making Process

1. States Parties shall take specific positive action to promote participative governance and the equal participation of women in the political life of their countries through affirmative action, enabling national legislation and other measures to ensure that:
a) women participate without any discrimination in all elections;
b) women are represented equally at all levels with men in all electoral processes;
c) women are equal partners with men at all levels of development and implementation of State policies and development programmes .
2. States Parties shall ensure increased and effective representation and participation of women at all levels of decision-making.
Article 10
Right to Peace

1. Women have the right to a peaceful existence and the right to participate in the promotion and maintenance of peace.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the increased participation of women:
a) in programmes of education for peace and a culture of peace;
b) in the structures and processes for conflict prevention, management and resolution at local, national, regional, continental and international levels;
in the local, national, regional, continental and international decision making structures to ensure physical, psychological, social and legal protection of asylum seekers, refugees, returnees and displaced persons, in particular women;
in all levels of the structures established for the management of camps and settlements for asylum seekers, refugees, returnees and displaced persons, in particular, women;
in all aspects of planning, formulation and implementation of post conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation.
3. States Parties shall take the necessary measures to reduce military expenditure significantly in favour of spending on social development in general, and the promotion of women in particular.
Article 11
Protection of Women in Armed Conflicts
States Parties undertake to respect and ensure respect for the rules of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict situations which affect the population, particularly women.
States Parties shall, in accordance with the obligations incumbent upon them under the international humanitarian law, protect civilians including women, irrespective of the population to which theybelong, in the event of armedconflict.
States Parties undertake to protect asylum seeking women, refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, against all forms of violence, rape and other forms of sexual exploitation, and to ensure that such acts are considered war crimes, genocide and/or crimes against humanity and that their perpetrators are brought to justice before a competent criminal jurisdiction.
States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure that no child, especially girls under 18 years of age, take a direct part in hostilities and thatno child is recruited as a soldier.
Article 12
Right to Education and Training
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and guarantee equal opportunity and access in the sphere of education and training;
b) eliminate all stereotypes in textbooks, syllabuses and the media, that perpetuate such discrimination;
protect women, especially the girl-child from all forms of abuse, including sexual harassment in schools and other educational institutions and provide for sanctions against the perpetrators of such practices;
provide access to counselling and rehabilitation services to women who suffer abuses and sexual harassment;
integrate gender sensitisation and human rights education at all levels of education curricula including teacher training.
2. States Parties shall take specific positive action to:
a) promote literacy among women;
b) promote education and training for women at all levels and in all disciplines, particularly in the fields of science and technology;
c) promote the enrolment and retention of girls in schools and other training institutions and the organisation of programmes for women who leave school prematurely.
Article 13
Economic and Social Welfare Rights

States Parties shall adopt and enforce legislative and other measures to guarantee womenequal opportunities in work and career advancement and other economic opportunities. In this respect, they shall:
a) promote equality of access to employment;
b) promote the right to equal remuneration for jobs of equal value for women and men;
c) ensure transparency in recruitment, promotion and dismissal of women and combat and punish sexual harassment in the workplace;
d) guarantee women the freedom to choose their occupation, and protect them from exploitation by their employers violating and exploiting their fundamental rights as recognised and guaranteed by conventions, laws and regulations in force;
e) create conditions to promote and support the occupations and economic activities of women, in particular, within the informal sector;
establish a system of protection and social insurance for women working in the informal sector and sensitise them to adhere to it;
g) introduce a minimum age for work and prohibit the employment of children below that age, andprohibit, combat and punish all forms of exploitation of children, especially the girl-child;
h) take the necessary measures to recognise the economic value of the work of women in the home;
i) guarantee adequate and paid pre and post-natal maternity leave in both the private and public sectors;
j) ensure the equal application of taxation laws to women and men;
k) recognise and enforce the right of salaried women to the same allowances and entitlements as those granted to salaried men for their spouses and children;
l) recognise that both parents bear the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of children and that this is a social function for which the State and the private sector have secondary responsibility;
m) take effective legislative and administrative measures to prevent the exploitation and abuse of women in advertising and pornography.
Article 14
Health and Reproductive Rights
1. States Parties shall ensure that the right to health of women, including sexual and reproductive health is respected and promoted. This includes:
the right to control their fertility;
the right to decide whether to have children, the number of children and the spacing of children;
c) the right to choose any method of contraception;
d) the right toselfprotectionand to be protected against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS;
e) the right to be informed on one's health status and on the health status of one's partner, particularly if affected with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, in accordance with internationally recognised standards and best practices;
the right to have family planning education.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) provide adequate, affordable and accessible health services, including information, education and communication programmes to women especially those in rural areas;
b) establish and strengthen existing pre-natal, delivery and post-natal health and nutritional services for women during pregnancy andwhile they are breast-feeding;
c) protect the reproductive rights of women by authorising medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of themother or the foetus.
Article 15
Right to Food Security
a) provide women with access to clean drinking water, sources of domestic fuel, land, and the means of producing nutritious food;
b) establish adequate systems of supply and storage to ensure food security.
Article 16
Right to Adequate Housing
Women shall have the right to equal access to housing and to acceptable living conditions in a healthy environment. To ensure this right, States Parties shall grant to women, whatever their marital status, access to adequate housing.
Article 17
Right to Positive Cultural Context

1. Women shall have the right to live in a positive cultural context and to participate at all levels in the determination of cultural policies.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to enhance the participation of women in the formulation of cultural policies at all levels.
Article 18
Right to a Healthy and Sustainable Environment
1. Women shall have the right to live in a healthy and sustainable environment.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) ensure greater participation of women in the planning, management and preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources at all levels;
promote research and investment in new and renewable energy sources and appropriate technologies, including information technologies and facilitate women's access to, and participation in their control;
protect and enable the development of women’s indigenous knowledge systems;
c) regulate the management, processing, storage and disposal of domestic waste;
ensure that proper standards are followed for the storage, transportation and disposal of toxic waste.
Article 19
Right to Sustainable Development
Women shall have the right to fully enjoy their right to sustainable development. In this connection, the States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) introduce the gender perspective in the national development planning procedures;
b) ensure participation of women at all levels in the conceptualisation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation of development policies and programmes;
promote women’s access to and control over productive resources such as land and guarantee their right to property;
promote women’s access to credit, training, skills development and extension services at rural and urban levels in order to provide women with a higher quality of life and reduce the level of poverty among women;
take into account indicators of human development specifically relating to women in the elaboration of development policies and programmes; and
ensure that the negative effects of globalisation and any adverse effects of the implementation of trade and economic policies and programmes are reduced to the minimum for women.
Article 20
Widows' Rights

States Parties shall take appropriate legal measures to ensure that widows enjoy all human rights through the implementation of the following provisions:
a) that widows are not subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment;
b) a widow shall automatically become the guardian and custodian of her children, after the death of her husband, unless this is contrary to the interests and the welfare of the children;
c) a widow shall have the right to remarry, and in that event, to marry the person of her choice.
Article 21
Right to Inheritance

1. A widow shall have the right to an equitable share in the inheritance of the property of her husband. A widow shall have the right to continue to live in the matrimonial house. In case of remarriage, she shall retain this right if the house belongs to her or she has inherited it.
2. Women and men shall have the right to inherit, in equitable shares, their parents' properties.
Article 22
Special Protection of Elderly Women

The States Parties undertake to:
provide protection to elderly women and take specific measures commensurate with their physical, economic and social needs as well as their access to employment and professional training;
ensure the right of elderly women to freedom from violence, including sexual abuse, discrimination based on age and the right to be treated with dignity.
Article 23
Special Protection of Women with Disabilities

The States Parties undertake to:
ensure the protection of women with disabilities and take specific measures commensurate with their physical, economic and social needs to facilitate their access to employment, professional and vocational training as well as their participation in decision-making;
ensure the right of women with disabilities to freedom from violence, including sexual abuse, discrimination based on disability and the right to be treated with dignity.
Article 24
Special Protection of Women in Distress

The States Parties undertake to:
ensure the protection of poor women and women heads of families including women from marginalized population groups and provide the an environment suitable to their condition and their special physical, economic and social needs;
ensure the right of pregnant or nursing women or women in detention by providing them with an environment which is suitable to their condition and the right to be treated with dignity.
Article 25
Remedies
States Parties shall undertake to:

providefor appropriate remedies to any woman whose rights or freedoms, as herein recognised, have been violated;
ensure that such remedies are determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by law.
Article 26
Implementation and Monitoring

States Parties shall ensure the implementation of this Protocol at national level, and in their periodic reports submitted in accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter, indicate the legislative and other measures undertaken for the full realisation of the rights herein recognised.
States Parties undertake to adopt all necessary measures and in particular shall provide budgetary and other resources for the full and effective implementation of the rights herein recognised.
Article 27
Interpretation

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights shall be seized with matters of interpretation arising from the application or implementation of this Protocol.
Article 28
Signature, Ratification and Accession
1. This Protocol shall be open for signature, ratification and accession by the States Parties, in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.
2. The instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the Chairperson of the Commission of the AU.
Article 29
Entry into Force
1. This Protocol shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the fifteenth (15) instrument of ratification.
2. For each State Party that accedes to this Protocol after its coming into force, the Protocol shall come into force on the date of deposit of the instrument of accession.
3. The Chairperson of the Commission of the AU shall notify all Member Statesof the coming into force of this Protocol.
Article 30
Amendment and Revision
1. Any State Party may submit proposals for the amendment or revision of this Protocol.
2. Proposals for amendment or revision shall be submitted, in writing, to the Chairperson of the Commission of the AU who shall transmit the same to the States Parties within thirty (30) days of receipt thereof.
3. The Assembly, upon advice of the African Commission, shall examine these proposals within a period of one (1) year following notification of States Parties, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of this article.
4. Amendments or revision shall be adopted by the Assembly by a simple majority.
5. The amendment shall come into force for each State Party, which has accepted it thirty (30) days after the Chairperson of the Commission of the AU has received notice of the acceptance.
Article 31
Status of the Present Protocol
None of the provisions of the present Protocol shall affect more favourable provisions for the realisation of the rights of women contained in the national legislation of States Parties or in any other regional, continental or international conventions, treaties or agreements applicable in these States Parties.
Article 32
Transitional Provisions
Pending the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights shall be the seized with matters of interpretation arising from the application and implementation of this Protocol.
Adopted by the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union
Maputo , 11 July 2003

Rescue Team Needed for Africa

In Africa
Rich nations buying huge tracts of land in Africa to grow crops


File photo of Jacques Diouf, Director-General, FAO. According to him, a number of the western governments and corporations are buying up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.
By PAUL REDFERN, NATION CorrespondentPosted Sunday, November 23 2008 at 14:00
LONDON, Sunday - Rich nations are buying up huge tracts of land across sub Saharan Africa to grow food or bio fuels for the future according to new evidence from the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation.
Following reports in SaturdayNation that some rich westerners were buying up some of the best stretches of Kenya’s coastline to build multi-million pound villas comes the news that it is not only prime coastal areas that are attracting western interest
According to the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, a number of the western governments and corporations are buying up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.
Mr Diouf has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people.
The UK newspaper the Guardian said that the escalating cost of the world’s food prices had already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar.
Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.
“These deals can be purely commercial ventures on one level, but sitting behind it is often a food security imperative backed by a government,” Carl Atkin, a consultant at Bidwells Agribusiness, a Cambridge firm helping to arrange some of the big international land deals told the Guardian.
Madagascar’s government said that an environmental impact assessment would have to be carried out before the Daewoo deal could be approved, but it welcomed the investment. The massive lease is the largest so far in an accelerating number of land deals that have been arranged since the surge in food prices late last year.
“In the context of arable land sales, this is unprecedented,” Atkin said. “We’re used to seeing 100,000-hectare sales. This is more than 10 times as much.”
At a food security summit in Rome, in June, there was agreement to channel more investment and development aid to African farmers to help them respond to higher prices by producing more. But governments and corporations in some cash-rich but land-poor states have opted not to wait for world markets to respond and are trying to guarantee their own long-term access to food by buying up land in poorer countries.
At present the buy-up has generally have been welcomed by sellers in developing world governments desperate for capital in a recession with Madagascar’s land reform minister saying revenue would go to infrastructure and development in flood-prone areas.
Sudan also is trying to attract investors for almost 900,000 hectares of its land, and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has been courting would-be Saudi investors.
Huge tracts of land in Tanzania have also attracted interest from western companies interested in growing bio-fuels.
“If this was a negotiation between equals, it could be a good thing. It could bring investment, stable prices and predictability to the market,” said Duncan Green, Oxfam’s head of research. “But the problem is, [in] this scramble for soil I don’t see any place for the small farmers.”
Alex Evans, at the Centre on International Cooperation, at New York University, said: “The small farmers are losing out already. People without solid title are likely to be turfed off the land.”
Details of land deals have generally been kept secret so it is unknown whether they have built-in safeguards for local populations.
Steve Wiggins, a rural development expert at the UK-based Overseas Development Institute, said: “There are very few economies of scale in most agriculture above the level of family farm because managing [the] labour is extremely difficult.”
Investors might also have to contend with hostility. “If I was a political-risk adviser to [investors] I’d say 'you are taking a very big risk’. Land is an extremely sensitive thing. This could go horribly wrong if you don’t learn the lessons of history.”

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Submitted by wavidaniPosted November 23, 2008 04:08 PM
To allow this is madness.We africans can't yet feed ourselves yet we give away the land.Talk of short-sightedness.Anyone buying is also greedy, immoral and taking a huge risk.Hordes of starving people will invade and take the land.Look at Zimbabwe.
Submitted by TimetoquestionPosted November 23, 2008 03:06 PM
What short term thinking. Can we creat jobs and sustinence first for those within the fake borders! How nonsesical that such solutions are deemed suitable. Consequence analysis is a necessity for greater sensability. Bless

Economic Regeneration of Africa

Origins and function

NEPAD is a merger of two plans for the economic regeneration of Africa: the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP), led by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa in conjunction with Former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria; and the OMEGA Plan for Africa developed by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. At an extraordinary summit in Sirte, Libya, March 2001, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) agreed that the MAP and OMEGA Plans should be merged. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) developed a "Compact for Africa’s Recovery" based on both these plans and on resolutions on Africa adopted by the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, and submitted a merged document to the Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Ministers of Development and Planning in Algiers, May 2001.
In July 2001, the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, adopted this document under the name of the New African Initiative (NAI). The leaders of G8 countries endorsed the plan on July 20, 2001; and other international development partners, including the European Union, China, and Japan also made public statements indicating their support for the program. The Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) for the project finalized the policy framework and named it the New Partnership for Africa's Development on 23 October 2001. NEPAD is now a program of the African Union (AU) that has replaced the OAU in 2002, though it has its own secretariat based in South Africa to coordinate and implement its programmes.
NEPAD’s four primary objectives are: to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable growth and development, integrate Africa in the world economy, and accelerate the empowerment of women. It is based on underlying principles of a commitment to good governance, democracy, human rights and conflict resolution; and the recognition that maintenance of these standards is fundamental to the creation of an environment conducive to investment and long-term economic growth. NEPAD seeks to attract increased investment, capital flows and funding, providing an African-owned framework for development as the foundation for partnership at regional and international levels.
In July 2002, the Durban AU summit supplemented NEPAD with a Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. According to the Declaration, states participating in NEPAD ‘believe in just, honest, transparent, accountable and participatory government and probity in public life’. Accordingly, they ‘undertake to work with renewed determination to enforce’, among other things, the rule of law; the equality of all citizens before the law; individual and collective freedoms; the right to participate in free, credible and democratic political processes; and adherence to the separation of powers, including protection for the independence of the judiciary and the effectiveness of parliaments.
The Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance also committed participating states to establish an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to promote adherence to and fulfilment of its commitments. The Durban summit adopted a document setting out the stages of peer review and the principles by which the APRM should operate; further core documents were adopted at a meeting in Abuja in March 2003, including a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by governments wishing to undertake the peer review.

Current status of NEPAD
Ever since it was set up there has been some tension over the place of NEPAD within the AU programs, given its origins outside the framework of the AU, and the continuing dominant role of South Africa -- symbolised by the location of the secretariat in South Africa.
Successive AU summits and meetings of the HSGIC have proposed the greater integration of NEPAD into the AU's structures and processes. In March 2007 there was a 'brainstorming session' on NEPAD held in Algeria at which the future of NEPAD and its relationship with the AU was discussed by an ad hoc committee of heads of state. The committee again recommended the fuller integration of NEPAD with the AU.[1] In April 2008, a review summit of five heads of state -- Presidents Mbeki of South Africa, Wade of Senegal, Bouteflika of Algeria, Mubarak of Egypt and Yar'Adua of Nigeria -- met in Senegal with a mandate to consider the progress in implementing NEPAD and report to the next AU summit to be held in Egypt in July 2008.[2]

NEPAD Principles
Good Governance as a basic requirement for peace and security, and sustainable political and socioeconomic development
African ownership and leadership, as well as broad and deep participation by all sectors of society
Anchoring the development of Africa on its resources and the resourcefulness of its people
Partnership between and among African peoples
Acceleration of regional and continental integration
Building the competitiveness of African countries and the continent
Forging a new intentional partnership that changes the unequal relationship between Africa and the developed world
Ensuring that all partnerships with NEPAD are linked to the Millennium Development Goals and other agreed development goals and targets

Structure
The HSGIC to which the NEPAD secretariat reports comprises three states for each region of the African Union, with former President Obasanjo (Nigeria) as elected chair, and Presidents Bouteflika (Algeria) and Wade (Senegal) as deputy chairmen. The HSGIC meets several times a year and reports to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
There is also a steering committee, comprising 20 AU member states, to oversee projects and program development.
The NEPAD Secretariat is based in Midrand, South Africa. The first CEO was Wiseman Nkuhlu of South Africa (2001-2005), and the second Mozambican Firmino Mucavele (2005-2008). As of February 2008 a new CEO was being sought.
The NEPAD Secretariat is not responsible for the implementation of development programs itself, but works with the African Regional Economic Communities -- the building blocks of the African Union.[3] The role of the NEPAD Secretariat is one of coordination and resource mobilisation.
Many individual African states have also established national NEPAD structures responsible for liaison with the continental initiatives on economic reform and development programs.

Partners
UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
African Development Bank
Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
Investment Climate Facility (ICF)
African Capacity Building Foundation
Office of the UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa
IDC (The Industrial Development Corporation) - Sponsor of NEPAD

Programs
The eight priority areas of NEPAD are: political, economic and corporate governance; agriculture; infrastructure; education; health; science and technology; market access and tourism; and environment.
During the first few years of its existence, the main task of the NEPAD Secretariat and key supporters was the popularisation of NEPAD’s key principles, as well as the development of action plans for each of the sectoral priorities. NEPAD also worked to develop partnerships with international development finance institutions -- including the World Bank, G8, European Commission, UNECA and others -- and with the private sector.[4]
After this initial phase, more concrete programs were developed, including:
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), aimed at assisting the launching of a 'green revolution' in Africa, based on a belief in the key role of agriculture in development.
The NEPAD Science and Technology programme, including an emphasis on research in areas such as water science and energy.
The "e-schools programme", adopted by the HSGIC in 2003 as an initiative to equip all 600,000 primary and secondary schools in Africa with IT equipment and internet access within 10 years, in partnership with several large IT companies. See NEPAD E-School program
The launch of a Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) by the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa, to finance high priority cross-border infrastructure projects.
Capacity building for continental institutions, working with the African Capacity Building Foundation, the Southern Africa Trust, UNECA, the African Development Bank, and other development partners. One of NEPAD's priorities has been to strengthen the capacity of and linkages among the Regional Economic Communities.

Criticism of NEPAD
NEPAD was initially met with a great deal of scepticism from much of civil society in Africa as playing into the 'Washington Consensus' model of economic development. In July 2002, members of some forty African social movements, trade unions, youth and women's organizations, NGOs, religious organizations and others endorsed the African Civil Society Declaration on NEPAD[5] rejecting NEPAD; a similar hostile view was taken by African scholars and activist intellectuals in the 2002 Accra Declaration on Africa's Development Challenges.[6]
Part of the problem in this rejection was the process by which NEPAD was adopted was insufficiently participatory -- civil society was almost totally excluded from the discusions by which it came to be adopted. The poor quality of the actual NEPAD document is to some extent a reflection of this lack of consultation.
More recently, NEPAD has also been criticised by some of its initial backers, including notably Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who accused NEPAD of wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and achieving nothing.[7] Like many other intergovernmental bodies, NEPAD suffers from slow decision-making, and a relatively poorly resourced and often cumbersome implementing framework. There is a great lack of information about the day to day activities of the NEPAD secretariat -- the website is notably uninformative -- that does not help its case.
However, the program has also received some acceptance from those initially very critical, and in general its status has become less controversial as it has become more established and its programs have become more concrete. The aim of promoting greater regional integration and trade among African states is welcomed by many, even as the fundamental macroeconomic principles NEPAD endorses remain contested.

See also
African Peer Review Mechanism
African Union
Bibliography
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): An Initial Commentary by Ravi Kanbur, Cornell University
Nepad’s APRM: A Progress Report, Practical Limitations and Challenges, by Ayesha Kajee
External links
NEPAD official website
Archive of NEPAD Dialogue newsletters from the NEPAD Secretariat
E-Africa Commission
UNECA page of resources and information on NEPAD
South African Department of Foreign Affairs NEPAD page
AllAfrica.com compilation of articles from the African media on NEPAD
Compilation of news stories on NEPAD, the APRM and African Union by the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project of the Open Society Institute
Sustainability Watch NGO site with a compilation of civil society responses to NEPAD.
University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development What is NEPAD? A Faq on Nepad by an academic institution.

Change Will Not Come Easy Without Mass Action

Black operations’ of the Kanyotu era
Story by KAMAU NGOTHO

Under Mr James Kanyotu, the State security intelligence apparatus largely operated through intrusion, torture and mysterious murders. In the minds of ordinary citizens, the mention of what was popularly known as the Special Branch brought up images of shifty-eyed characters in smoky cellars extracting information by duress when not peeping through keyholes or staging mafia-style killings. Barely two months after Kanyotu was appointed the Director of Intelligence in February 1965, a radical politician of Asian origin, Pio Gama Pinto, was gunned down outside his house in the city’s Westlands suburb.

Point-blank
He was reversing outside his gate one early morning when a lone gunman appeared from nowhere and shot him at point-blank range. Four years later, an assassin’s bullet cut short the life of Tom Mboya — a dashing politician and Cabinet minister. He was walking out of a chemist in a crowded city street on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 1969 when he met his death. Then in March 1975, a herdsman stumbled on a decomposing body at the foot of the scenic Ngong Hills on the outskirts of Nairobi.

It turned out to be the body of the charismatic MP for Nyandarua North, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, popularly known as ‘JM’, who had been reported missing nine days earlier after he left a Nairobi hotel in the company of the then GSU commandant Ben Gethi. Fifteen years down the line in February 1990, another body — this time burnt almost beyond recognition — was found by a herdsboy at the foot of Got Alila near Kisumu. It was that of then Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko. He had gone missing for four days after being picked by a white car from his rural home in the wee hours of the morning.

‘Disappeared’ And in the period between 1986 and 1989, several Kenyans were reported to have “disappeared” after they were arrested by the Special Branch and taken to the infamous Nyayo House torture chambers for interrogation in connection with a shadowy outfit called Mwakenya. Inevitably, in all the “black operations”, fingers were pointed at the institution Mr Kanyotu headed. In two of the cases — the Ouko and JM murders — he was personally summoned to assist the investigating teams. He ignored the summons in the case of Ouko, but helpfully cooperated in the JM matter. In the Mboya and Pinto assassinations, there was no direct mention of the intelligence team or Mr Kanyotu, for that matter.

However, there were powerful pointers that his boys loomed large in the shadows. In the Mwakenya affair, blood was all over Mr Kanyotu’s hands as the interrogations were conducted by his officers at Nyayo House, the then Nairobi Area Intelligence offices. Mr Kanyotu’s baptism by fire came on February 25, 1965, hardly two months after he assumed office. It came with the murder of leftist politician Pio Gama Pinto, a close ally and strategist for then Vice-President and later opposition doyen Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

A self-confessed socialist, Mr Pinto had sharpened his teeth as a radical during Kenya’s fight for independence when he served as the editor of a string of nationalist newspapers and a radio station. For his troubles, the colonialists detained him without trial for a long period. Come independence, he identified himself with a radical camp opposed to policies pursued by the Government of the day. The group gravitated around Mr Oginga Odinga. Then somebody decided that he must die. Early in the morning of February 25, Mr Pinto reversed his car at the gate to his residence in the city’s Westlands suburb. With him was his five-year-old daughter, who he was taking to school. Before he could engage the forward gear, a man appeared from the corner of the fence and shouted: “Hallo, Sir!” As he looked up to answer, three bullets hit him in the neck and chest. He slumped dead on the steering wheel. Three weeks later, a 19-year-old unemployed youth, Kisilu Mutua, was hauled to the courts and accused of killing Mr Pinto. He denied the charge, but admitted having been within the vicinity when the radical politician was shot dead. Kisilu’s evidence at the trial court had all the elements of a James Bond thriller. He said he had been a pick-pocket operating at downtown Nairobi. Police had caught and pardoned him once, but on the second instance, they offered to help him quit the world of crime by getting him a job with a man they simply called Sammy. Sammy turned up with an interesting kind of job. He would only need him once in a while and for a specific assignment, which would change from time to time. He helped Kisilu start a business of selling tyre rubber sandals, popularly known as akala, at Ngara Market, from where he would pick him whenever there was a job to be done.

Scare off
Kisilu’s first assignment was to scare off a certain trade-unionist who Sammy said was “joking around with the Government.” He would drive Kisilu to the unionist’s gate in the evening and wait for the latter to arrive. Once he showed up, Kisilu would run towards him a knife in hand, hurl a few insults at him and tell him to watch his tongue in future lest the knife ends in his chest. The first assignment had gone off well and Sammy handsomely rewarded him, Kisilu told the court. The next assignment would be in Westlands. He was to do the same to a certain muhindi (Indian) who too, as Sammy put it, was giving the Government some trouble. As with the first assignment, Sammy did not tell him the name of the person and he did not bother to ask as he thought that was none of his business. On the fateful day, Mr Kisilu told the court, he met Sammy in the company of another man he introduced as Mr Chege Thuo. The three then got into a taxi, a blue Fiat car, and headed to the gate of their target in Westlands. Before Kisilu could make his move as instructed, he heard a sudden burst of gun-fire and saw the Indian slump forward as blood gushed from his neck. A few days later, Sammy got in touch with him and they agreed to meet at a secret rendezvous. It turned out to be a trap when Kisilu found waiting policemen and Sammy nowhere in sight. The court found Kisilu guilty and sentenced him to hang. He escaped death for life imprisonment upon appeal.

Doubtful
The court was doubtful that Kisilu was the man who pulled the trigger, but said he must be taken as an accomplice having knowingly gone to Westlands to “scare” his target, whatever the scare entailed. However, the appeal judge, Chief Justice John Ainley, punched enough holes in the prosecution case to suggest Kisilu may just have been a scapegoat. “The case for the Republic is that three men were present and that three men ran away from the scene of Mr Pinto’s murder,” said the Appeal judge. “Yet it has been asked, why has the police not demonstrated the truth of their findings through further investigations?” Kisilu was set free in 2001 after serving 35 years in jail. He still insists he was punished for a crime he never committed.Courtesy of;http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=39&newsid=124092

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Raila Snubs US Team over 2007 Election

Raila snubs US team over 2007 election
Updated 3 hr(s) 21 min(s) ago
By Oscar Obonyo
Top Government officials have declined to meet representatives of a US poll body caught in controversy over the 2007 General Election.
The Standard On Sunday has exclusively learnt that key officials of the International Republican Institute (IRI) are in the country and have been pleading with Government authorities to "put in a good word" for them. The group is chaired by Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in the November election against Barack Obama, and it is fighting to salvage its credibility.
Voters on a polling day.
[PHOTO: Stafford Ondego/STANDARD]The IRI team pitched tent at Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office at Treasury House last Wednesday and Thursday, where they pleaded with the PM, last year’s presidential candidate, to save the organisation’s image.
"Our concern, which I am confident you appreciate, is that any skepticism of IRI’s integrity as an institute will directly affect our ability to work not only in Kenya but around the world," says Elizabeth Dugan, IRI’s Vice President for Programmes, in a letter addressed to the PM.
Coincidentally, the letter to the PM is dated December 16, 2008, the very day Parliament sounded the death knell on the local polls body — Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK). Legislators unanimously voted to amend a clause in the Constitution stripping ECK commissioners of security of tenure in office. The electoral body was found guilty of bungling last year’s presidential polls and the changes executed by Parliament are part of the wider ongoing institutional reforms.
New evidence now indicates that a host of other institutions — local and international — risk going down with ECK over the highly discredited poll. IRI is presently on the spot. "The Nation" a New York newspaper and "New York Times" magazine first published IRI’s predicament early this year and have consistently audited the institution.
Pressure on IRI has been mounting worldwide, particularly from the US media and non-governmental organisations that accuse the institute of withholding exit polls of last year’s presidential polls. While critics do not implicate the body in rigging the Kenyan polls or perpetuating the post-election violence, they indict it for failing to "arrest the situation" by concealing the truth.
IRI withheld the results, indicating the PM won the election with a margin of six points, at the instigation of the US Government. IRI eventually released the Election Day Exit poll results in August, eight months later.
But terming the allegations as "absolutely false", Dugan explains that IRI did not release the data "because we had concerns, which proved true, that the initial results of the exit poll were inaccurate".
"We want to inform you of these allegations and ask for your consideration in dispelling the fabrications and attesting to the quality and professionalism of IRI’s work in Kenya," she says in a letter to the PM.
An aide of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, who is privy to IRI’s mission in the country, told The Standard On Sunday that the ODM leadership was unhappy with the way the institute handled its findings.
"I am aware that the party leaders have been consulting and the PM has, in particular, made it clear to IRI that had they released the poll results on time, it would have made a huge difference and even saved lives," said the official.
Apparently the IRI top guns entered the country quietly and neither is their mission known to many, including Cabinet ministers. Forestry and Wildlife Minister Dr Noah Wekesa, who has over the years worked closely with the institute was shocked at "how IRI top bosses can quietly sneak into the country without getting in touch".
"I know IRI leaders too well and if they are in the country in search of any form of recommendation, I want to publicly invite them to look for me if they are faced with difficulties. This Government appreciates IRI’s work and we shall help them," said Wekesa.
The Kwanza MP, who helped mould President Kibaki’s Narc and PNU coalition outfits in 2002 and 2007, has trained under IRI and been seconded by the institution as an election observer in many countries.
The voices for and against IRI are so divergent and replicate the PNU-ODM divided opinion, as was the case shortly before and after December’s hotly contested presidential elections.
Curiously, the Chairman of IRI is Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican’s challenger in November’s US polls against Democratic Party’s Barack Obama, now the US President-elect. By the time Kenyans went to the polls Obama’s presidential bid had not peaked. In fact, former US First Lady Hillary Clinton was the frontrunner for the Democratic ticket.
The American link in the Kenyan polls controversy is particularly discomforting to US State Department and US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger. According to a report by Karen Rothmyer, Ranneberger told the Washington Post on December 31 that "the US would accept" the announcement that Kibaki had won.
And talking to the local media outside KICC — tallying centre for presidential votes — moments after President Kibaki had been declared victor, Ranneberger urged Kenyans to accept the results "and move on". The State Department went ahead and congratulated Kibaki, only to retract a few hours later, when election protests turned violent.
"IRI faltered and chances are they did it to protect American and Republican interests. But now they realise after the Democrats’ victory that Obama is not (President George W) Bush and that he will embark on a serious audit of all public institutions," observes Director of Haki Focus, Mr Harun Ndubi.
The lawyer regrets that IRI has lost credibility and instead embarked on playing politics.
Separately, sources close to the PM indicated that the ODM presidential candidate was in deep dilemma over how to handle the IRI question. Although irked by the developments of last December, Raila is reportedly not keen on heaping blame on a foreign establishment.
The PM would rather exert his energy on re-organising local institutions that may have played a lead role in bungling the 2007 polls. Indeed, this explains why Raila has been focused more on having ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu and his entire team sent home.
Like Wekesa, Raila has a long-standing relationship with IRI spanning over 20 years. The PM has participated in its training and planning sessions and served as an election observer in many countries, including Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
It is probably because of these links that he is at pains to react to IRI’s request. However, after three days of soul searching, The Standard On Sunday learnt that the PM put in a carefully worded brief response.
"It has been my experience that IRI’s work in Kenya has been professional and has helped to strengthen democracy in my country. Overall, I appreciate IRI’s past work in Kenya," says the PM in a letter addressed to IRI President, Lorne W Craner.
While Kenyans have no control of IRI’s activities, the noose is tightening around the ECK commissioners. They are destined to pack up and leave once the President assents to a new law that strips them of security of tenure.
More institutions are destined to fold and heads to roll over a series of planned institutional reforms. On line at the moment are police reforms that could see change of guard at Vigilante House.
The Justice Philip Waki-led Commission to Investigate Post-Election Violence (Cipev) further touches on the Civil Service, in particular the Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, whom it accuses of usurping the mandate of security agencies.
But it is the bit about politicians, believably listed in the so-called secret envelope, that is bound to generate even more fire.
That IRI, a foreign institute, already feeling the heat of this fire lit by the events of last December, is a critical warning message. However, the threat that local institutions that may have fuelled last year’s bloody events will go down with ECK, is real.